15 Home Remedies to Relieve Shingles Rash

If you remember having the chickenpox as a kid or even as an adult, shingles will seem very similar. In fact, you may feel like you are having a flashback to your childhood days. The reason that you feel this way is because shingles and chickenpox are caused by the same virus.

Shingles cause a person to experience a rash that can cause itching and an extreme amount of pain. This rash can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to months. Shingles may only affect one side of the body. Weakened immune systems, stress, and age can all make a person vulnerable to getting shingles. While there is no real cure for shingles, there is a vaccine that can prevent a person from getting it.

If you do come down with shingles, there are some home remedies that can help you deal with the pain caused by the rash. 

1. Take an Oatmeal Bath

There are many reasons to take a bath. It is relaxing and can help ease your discomfort. While oatmeal is something you probably think of as eating for breakfast, it also has great soothing benefits for the skin.

Oatmeal can effectively treat dry and itchy skin and offers antihistamine properties that reduce painful swelling. You may also simply try grounding up oatmeal into a very fine powder in a food processor and then adding it to your bath. You may also find creams made of oatmeal that can soothe your rash.

If you are suffering from shingles, covering your body in a paste of ground oatmeal and water can help to ease the symptoms of your rash. You can leave this paste on your body for as long as you want and then simply wash it off in the shower or soak in a cool bath to rinse the oatmeal paste off. 

2. Calamine Lotion

You may remember using calamine lotion after a camping trip when you came in contact with poison ivy. This pink, soothing lotion is used to deal with many skin symptoms, including itchiness caused by contact with plants and shingles rashes. You can find this lotion in any pharmacy. It is relatively inexpensive to purchase and you can use it on any part of your body safely.

Make sure that you shake the bottle before using it. Pour onto a cotton ball and then apply it to your skin. Let the lotion dry completely on the skin. Leave it on until you bathe or shower.  This lotion can be very effective at treating the itch that is associated with shingles. The cooling effect of this lotion can be extremely beneficial, especially when you are in the middle of the disease. 

3. Wearing Loose Clothing

Something as simple as changing the way you dress can give you significant relief from shingles symptoms. If you feel pain and itchiness on your skin, the last thing you want to do is to put more pressure on the area by wearing tight clothing. Opt for loose-fitting dresses, pants or shirts. This can be easier in the summertime and more of a challenge in the winter when it is time to bundle up.

However, in the winter you can wear clothing that is warm but is still very loose around the skin. Avoid wearing jeans and other harsh fabrics. Flannel and soft fabrics can be comfortable to wear when suffering from shingles. Choose natural fibers that can be gentler on your skin than synthetic fabrics. Make sure you apply bandages that do not stick onto the rashes and keep them loose so they do not cause further issues. 

4. Homemade Pastes

There are several homemade pastes that you can create in order to soothe the rash that you are experiencing from the shingles. Most people find that the pastes that they can make at home are just as effective as the creams that they can purchase in the pharmacy.

A shingles rash can heal quickly by being treated with a paste made from baking soda and cornstarch. Cornstarch has long been used in remedies to alleviate itchy skin. Adding baking soda can help to disinfect any wounds. It also helps to purify the area.

To make this paste you will want to combine two parts cornstarch with two parts baking soda. Then add in one part water to create a creamy paste. Apply this paste to any area on the body that is bothering you. Let the paste dry on the skin for fifteen minutes and then rinse it off. 

5. Using Creams

Creams will not make your shingles rash disappear. However, they can go a long way in relieving the discomfort that is caused by the rash from the disease. One of the main reasons that the rash from shingles becomes so itchy and painful is because the skin around the rash becomes very dry.

If the area around the rash becomes too dry the skin can crack. When this occurs it can cause pus to leak from the rash. Rubbing creams on these areas can help to keep the skin moist. Apply creams several times a day and cover with loose bandages, if necessary.

Look for creams that contain capsaicin, which is the main ingredient in hot peppers. Capsaicin is an anti-inflammatory agent and can relieve the pain of rashes. This can help to ease the pain of shingles much more quickly so that you can get on with your day to day life. 

6. Dietary Changes

Although issues with diet can cause rashes and allergic reactions, shingles are not usually the result of allergies. However, eating the right foods can make you feel better and boost your immune system to prevent repeat outbreaks of shingles.

You can minimize the damage of shingles by eating certain nutrients that will boost health the immune system and keep shingles from spreading. Focus on eating more A, C, E, B-12, and lysine. Foods rich in these nutrients include leafy green, yellow and red vegetables, lean proteins such as wild-caught fish and whole grains.

Eating a healthy diet can go a long way when it comes to boosting your immune system. Adding these whole foods to your diet can not only help you get rid of the symptoms of shingles more quickly, but it can also help keep you healthier in the long term. It is amazing what a few simple dietary changes can really do for your overall health. 

7. Herbal Remedies

Herbs can be used both internally and topically as a way to treat your shingles rash. Since the ailment is the result of a weakened immune system, taking herbs that can boost your immunity, such as echinacea, St.John’s Wort, and garlic can be very beneficial. You can also apply herbs topically to rashes to reduce discomfort and swelling.

Some useful herbs for topical application include aloe vera, peppermint, thyme, and calendula. Applying oil directly to the area can be too strong, so it might be better to drop some oil into creams. For an intensive treatment, apply Vitamin E oil, which will not create irritation, directly onto the rash.

When you are purchasing herbal supplements it is important to make sure that you are purchasing them from a reputable manufacturer. Make sure that you read all of the ingredients on the supplement list to ensure that you know exactly what you are putting into your body. 

8. Cold Compresses

Shingles rashes are itchy, dry and hot. One way to ease the pain is to cool off the area with cool compresses several times a day. Simply take a clean cloth, soak it in cold water and apply it to the area. When the cloth warms up, either replace it with a cool one for a longer treatment or repeats it later in the day.

Avoid the temptation to put ice packs on the shingles rashes. Excessive coldness can dry out the area, and dryness can increase the pain and cause cracking. In addition, if the area is too cold, it may become more sensitive to pain. It is a good idea to apply either a lotion or ointment to your rash after you have held a cold compress on the area.

Another option is to take a cool bath and then apply lotion to your skin. This will help to cool down the skin and adding lotion after a bath can help maintain the moisture of the skin, which can ease the pain caused by the dryness of the rash. 

9. Baking Soda

If you come down with a case of the shingles, then one of the best home remedies you can use to relieve symptoms of itching is baking soda. Baking soda is a natural remedy used in a variety of health disorders affecting the skin. Baking soda reduces the pH level of your skin, making an inhospitable environment for the virus to spread.

Baking soda is a cheap and effective solution for relieving your symptoms of itching and pain. Mix 2-tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of water, and form a paste. Apply the paste to your skin over the affected area, and leave it to dry for a few hours. Wash the baking soda off with warm water, and you should notice a significant reduction in your symptoms of itching. 

Repeat this treatment 2 to 3 times throughout the day to assist your recovery from shingles rash. Continue the treatment every day until the rash starts to disappear.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you develop the signs of the shingles rash, then try using apple cider vinegar to relieve your symptoms of itching and pain. ACV is a natural antibacterial and antiviral treatment used in home remedies for diseases that affect the skin. Apple cider vinegar gets its beneficial health properties from the presence of a probiotic complex known as “the mother.”

When you pick up a bottle of unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar, you’ll notice a brown suspension in the liquid. This suspension is the mother, and it’s only available in unfiltered products. The filtering process removes the mother, rendering the apple cider vinegar no more beneficial than regular spirit vinegar. 

Mix four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into your bath water, or soak a hand towel in the ACV. Soak in the tub for 20-30 minutes, and you should notice a reduction in symptoms of itching and pain. You can also place the soaked hand towel over the shingles rash and let the skin absorb the ACV.

11. Aloe Vera Gel

If you develop the shingles rash, then try using a moisturizing cream fortified with aloe vera to relieve your symptoms of pain and itching associated with the condition. Aloe vera is a natural remedy with plenty of history behind it for treating skin irritation. If you apply a decent amount of aloe vera gel into your skin, you should notice an immediate cooling effect.

Aloe vera gel is readily available online from your favorite health retailer. The gel is affordable and effective at relieving the symptoms of pain and itching associated with shingles. Apply a generous amount of the gel to your skin over the affected area, and let the skin absorb the gel. Aloe vera contains natural polyphenol antioxidants that remove free radicals. The natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties of aloe vera help to reduce the presence of shingles.

Repeat this treatment to the three times throughout the day to provide relief from pain and itching associated with shingles rash.

12. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil contains natural anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce the symptoms of pain and itching associated with shingles rash. The essential oil also increases healing time, assisting with the dissipation of the sores related to the outbreak. The natural polyphenol antioxidants found in eucalyptus oil, have pain-relieving properties and an antiviral effect. To take advantage of the healing properties of eucalyptus oil, blend a few drops with a carrier oil like extra virgin coconut oil.

Placing the raw eucalyptus oil onto your skin may exacerbate the symptoms of pain and itching associated with the rash. By blending it with a carrier oil, you dilute the eucalyptus, while still retaining the beneficial properties of the oil. 

Apply the blended oil into your skin over the affected area. You should notice an immediate sensation of relief from your pain and itching symptoms. Repeat this treatment three times a day for the best results.

13. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile is a natural nervine agent that helps the nervous system deal with the effects of pain and irritation associated with shingles rash. It’s possible to brew yourself a cup of chamomile tea and drink it to help calm the nervous system. After drinking, use the tea bag as a cold compress on your rash. Let the tea bag soak on the skin for 20 to 30 minutes, and you should notice a significant reduction in your symptoms.

Chamomile is also effective at reducing the symptoms of pain and itching associated with shingles. Blend some chamomile essential oil with a carrier oil like extra virgin coconut oil. Apply it to the skin of the affected area, and you should notice a sensation of relief. Repeat this treatment two to three times a day for best results.

Chamomile contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which provide the nervous system with relief from the effects of the virus. Both the tea bag and the oil treatment mentioned should prove useful.

14. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an effective natural remedy for relieving the symptoms of pain and itching associated with shingles rash. Tea tree oil contains natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that promote the healing of wounds. This oil makes an effective natural treatment for assisting with soothing the symptoms of pain and irritation associated with shingles rash.

It’s important to note the tea tree oil is incredibly potent. Rubbing it on your bare skin in the concentrated form will result in a worsening of your pain symptoms and itching. Therefore you should mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil. This blend helps to reduce skin irritation while still maintaining the healing properties of the tea tree oil. Repeat this treatment 2 to 3 times throughout the day to get relief from your symptoms of itching and pain.

The use of this natural remedy also helps to prevent the spread of the shingles rash to other areas of the body. Continue the treatment until the shingles subside.

15. Reduce Stress

If you come down with the case of the shingles rash, then it’s best to reduce stress as much as possible. If you are in a stressful environment, then the virus will have an easier time spreading throughout the body. You must take time off from work and relax, reducing stress and helping the body in its recovery from the virus.

To speed up your recovery, it’s vital that you reduce stress and any other activities or lifestyle habits that increase stress levels. Take the time to read a book or relax and watch some TV. Try to stop self-destructive lifestyle habits like smoking and avoid alcohol while you recover. 

In most cases, it takes between 7 to 14-days for the effects of the virus to start to dissipate. During this time, rest as much as you can. Focus on using the home remedies in this article to relieve your symptoms of itching and pain.


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